The Texas Rangers (64-51) host the Seattle Mariners (49-64) for a three-game series starting Monday, August 8th at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Texas is seeking to maintain a slim one-game lead in the AL West over the second place Los Angeles Angels, while the Seattle Mariners continue to try and dig out of the rut caused by their team-record 17-game losing streak.
Tonight’s pitching match-up features a pair of 25-year olds, as the recent Seattle acquisition Charlie Furbush (2-3, 3.52 ERA) squares off against the Ranger’s Matt Harrison (9-8, 3.08 ERA).
Furbush threw 5 solid innings in his Mariners debut last week against Oakland, going 5 innings while surrendering just one earned run on two hits. Harrison meanwhile was shaky last Wednesday at Detroit, giving up 4 earned runs in 6 innings of a 5-4 loss to the Tigers. Harrison however comes off one of the best months of his career, posting a 3-0 record with only 8 runs surrendered over 35 2/3 innings of work (5 starts). Tonight’s match-up may show whether July has been an exceptional bright spot on Harrison’s record, or merely an exception with a regression to the average imminent. As noted by sports analysts with good knowledge of Harrison, his WHIP has increasingly been rising while his strikeout rate is falling, which usually indicate a pitcher on a verge of decline.
Of note in this series of late, Texas has won 4 straight games against the Seattle Mariners, and 8 of 10 overall this season. Rangers pitching has been the difference maker here, sporting a 1.84 ERA during the season series, even though the Mariners pitching staff has only allowed Texas a .236 batting average in the 10 games played thus far.
Betting Lines for Texas vs. Seattle:
Oddsmaker Sportsbook unsurprisingly has the Texas Rangers as a favorite to win at home, giving them a -200 on the moneyline and -1.5 runs at -120 on the spread. At the hitter-friendly confines of Rangers Ballpark, it’s also unsurprising to see the over/under at 9 runs, however with the league’s worst hitting team coming in tonight, this appears to be the most advantageous line for online sports bettors to catch on this game.
The Texas Rangers prevail at home, as the Mariners bats simply can’t keep pace with the bevy of hot Texas hitters. Look for a relatively low scoring game as Texas hasn’t seen much of Charlie Furbush, and Seattle has historically failed to issue runs against the Texas starters and bullpen this year.
Players to Watch, Texas:
Mike Napoli, C – Napoli is by definition, on fire. Hitting .424 in the last month with 6 homers and 11 RBIs, he’s currently the most productive member of the Rangers offense.
Michael Young, 3B – Hitting .336 on the year (tied for 2nd overall), and .366 over the last month, Young has definitely established himself as one of the best hitters in all of baseball with a .303 lifetime average.
Players to Watch, Seattle:
Mike Carp, 1B – In long list of unknowns on the Seattle roster, Carp may be the only offensive player worth recognizing at the moment. Over the past month, Carp is hitting .368 with 3 home runs and 15 RBIs, and is the only Mariner consistently hitting over .300 week to week.
Casper Wells, RF – Wells, recently picked up from Detroit before the trade deadline, is a promising young outfielder. Since beginning with the Mariners on July 31st, he reached base safely in 5 straight games, and sports a .304 average over 6 games thus far.